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How To Reduce Your Christmas Food Waste

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‘Tis the season to eat, drink and be merry and for many of us, that means making enough roast turkey to feed a small army and eating ourselves into a cosy Christmas-food-coma before 3pm. And while there’s nothing at all wrong with that, I often find myself looking at the dining table spilling over with food and wondering – how are we ever going to eat all this!? And the truth is – my family and I rarely (if ever) end up eating it all. And according to research from Love Food Hate Waste, we’re not the only ones…

Research from Love Food Hate Waste shows that we consume around 10 million turkeys in the UK every Christmas and spend just over £20 per person serving up a perfect roast dinner with all the trimmings. But our eyes are usually bigger than our stomachs, and the average household ends up throwing away more than a million tonnes of roast dinners every year. That’s bad for the environment and for our bank balances – collectively we waste £94 million, and that’s just on gravy! Food Waste Is A Global Problem, and tackling it is a cause that’s close to our hearts.

If you want to make a difference to your household food waste this Christmas, try adopting some of these eco-friendly habits.

Plan ahead

The number one thing you can do to lower your food waste over Christmas is to plan ahead and resist the urge to impulse buy. Work out how much food you’ll need – especially if you’re hosting (and remember your guests will probably bring some food with them) – and make a shopping list. Try not to get drawn in by Christmas offers. And don’t shop on an empty stomach!

Look at the use-by dates

Especially when buying meat, dairy, or other fresh produce, check out that use-by date to make sure you won’t have to throw it away before you need it. And remember that most fruit and veg will last longer if you store it properly.

Make friends with your freezer

If you find yourself with leftovers or excess food, there are a surprising amount of classic Christmas dishes that you can seal and freeze for later. Bread sauce, turkey, Stilton, roast potatoes, mince pies, vegetables… even wine! Just make sure you label the packets with the date you made it, so you know how long it’s been in the freezer. For a full list of freezable foods and tips on how best to package them, here’s Love Food Hate Waste to the rescue.

Give it away

If you have friends or family members staying over for the Christmas period, send them away with arms full of your excess food. You can also turn your leftovers into new year gifts! Ferment, preserve and pickle your fruit and veg – kimchi is especially popular at the moment – all you need is a mason jar and it’ll look trendy as hell.

Let us do the planning for you

Remember that first tip? You don’t have to do all the hard work yourself! Choose your dinners for the week from our weekly changing menu, and we’ll measure all the ingredients for you and send them to your door. That means cutting down on your food waste and on time spent in the supermarket queues. This year we’ll even have Christmas Dinner on the menu… which you can make in under an hour!

Looking for other ways to reduce food waste? Check out more of our sustainability blog posts, such as 12 Food Scraps You Didn’t Know Were Edible and 5 Foods You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze.

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